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Epiretinal Membrane


Epiretinal membrane (ERM), also known as macular pucker or cellophane maculopathy, is a common disorder of the central retina (macula) which may cause a central blur or distortion in the vision. In its simplest forms, an ERM is a layer of scar-like tissue on the surface of the retina. Many eyes with ERM are asymptomatic, but some may require intervention if the vision is significantly affected due to distortion or lack of clarity.

What causes Epiretinal Membrane?

Most cases of epiretinal membrane occur with age and after a vitreous detachment.  Other less common causes can be prior eye surgery, trauma, diabetes, or uveitis.  ​

Treatment of an Epiretinal Membrane

If the ERM is significant enough, surgery may be warranted.  Vitrectomy is the surgical removal of the gel in the eye, or vitreous. Membrane peeling, or removal of the scar tissue, is then performed using microscopic instruments such as picks and forceps. Vitrectomy with membrane peeling is an outpatient procedure that usually takes less than an hour. Surgery is most often performed under local anesthesia, but can be done under general anesthesia as well.

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